Sunday, February 23, 2020

5-Step Moisturizing Regimen

My moisturizing journey and skin care habits have been wrought with mistakes and youthful ignorance. I visited a tanning bed or two in my early 20s. "I just want a slight glow," I told myself, as I fried my largest organ in radiation chambers that came with a warning.

I cringe at the thought that in 2009 my sister, uncle, and I went to Guatemala and baked our bodies under the almost-equatorial sun to the point that we had rotate ourselves in a moving line under a spigot that dripped cold water for two full days. "But think about how tan we'll be when this all peels off," I remember one of us saying. "Totally." the other two responded.

Fortunately before I moved to Palau in 2012 I had started to think more about my future. "I don't want to come back to the U.S. looking like dried leather," I told a woman at the grocery store who had noticed I was shopping for sunscreen, just like she was. She said she was going to the Caribbean for a week. "Same," she said. "Why would I want to be hot for a few months if the price is prunes for a lifetime?"

I didn't moisturize in Palau. The air did that for me. But I did obsessively protect my skin from UV rays to the point that I did not receive a single sunburn in the time I lived there.

A year or two after I moved back I started dating a guy who was probably too young for me. "What are you thinking?" I asked him when he told me he was going to a tanning salon after work. I heard myself turning into an old man, so I just went for it. We were standing on the side of South Temple in downtown Salt Lake City, getting ready to cross the street. "Learn these lessons in your youth!" I shouted, impersonating some unnamed elderly person while shaking my fist.

Over the next few years I started caring more and more about a moisturizing habit. I looked up products. I talked to friends who had flawless complexions. I tried products that changed my life, like this one:

The more and more I started to care about this, the more I noticed when other men didn't.

"He just really needs a good moisturizer," I've said on occasion while talking about some dude whose skin was flaking or unnecessarily wrinkling around the eyes. "Even a basic one."

I was thinking about that this weekend when I tweeted.

Some of my straight dude friends were like "WHAAAAT" including Meg's husband.

So then I thought I'd finally just share my regimen. All advice/tips VERY welcome in the comments. Thanks in advance.

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. Moisturizing is my favorite. I will definitely look into stocking up on some of these and giving them a whirl.

  2. As I've aged I've cared more about my skin regimen. I've received compliments many times through the years that I have flawless skin or magnificent pores. I don't think I have either of these but I do intend to do what is necessary to keep getting such compliments.

    However, I haven't started using eye cream until recently. I get Ipsy bags and they've included various eye rejuvenation serums and I've had mixed results. The problem is that when I first started using them, I didn't note that I liked particular ones. Now that I'm using one I don't find particularly helpful, I wish I had noted the ones I like. The other problem is that I'm kinda cheap. Like - I am not about to spend $50 on a .08 ounce fluid tube of eye cream.

    So I'm open to suggestions for reasonably priced eye creams for *cough* middle-aged *cough* women.

  3. I read this here while back and thought of you.

  4. Can I just say that along with taking care of your skin, and SD's skin, you can also take care of animals skin. And I know you're an animal lover Eli! There are plenty of equally effective and delish products that haven't been tested on animals...

  5. I don’t even wash my face at night let alone put moisturizer on it. And my little sister, who is a skin care nut as well, basically dies a little inside every time I go to bed with makeup on my face.

    1. I may have died inside a lot from this knowledge. My best friend does this as well and I weep for her.

    2. I’m with you, Hilary. I don’t know your reasons, but I guess I never really learned anything about skin care? And now that I’m in my mid 30s, I can’t swallow the cost. I know that’s terrible. I wish this was something I had done when I was younger so it wouldn’t be such an oof’d just be an expense that comes with living, like toilet paper or socks or something.

      Also, I got trapped in a room of essential oils peeps last week and was unfortunately on the front row on the very end. Instead of being able to discreetly pass the bottles to the next person like the other unsuspecting fellow trap-ees, they’d stand in front of me and explain all the benefits and how-to’s while waiting for me to open the bottle, put two drops on my non dominant hand, clap and rub three times in a clockwise motion, cup my hands and inhale, etc. ad nauseam. It was awful and I couldn’t breathe but I was also wishing you were there with me, Eli! Misery loves company? They were passing around a tiny bottle that cost $86! And there was a whole basket of bottles that they use every single day/night. The fumes gave me a headache and knowing the amount of money I was inhaling made me so sick.

  6. good god! what does all that cost!

  7. I had terrible skin growing up, so a large part of my life has been spent on finding a skin regime that works for me. I use mostly Paula's Choice products. As I've gotten older, I've seen a huge improvement. One of the best compliments I ever received was when an esthetician told my skin looked amazing!

  8. Lazy here. I don’t even wash my face. I figure it is good from whatever water and soap maybe splashed on it when I shower.

    I do take really good care of my teeth, and I wonder why I don’t do anything for my face.

    But then I go back to lazy.

    I try to remember to wear sunblock. We moved to the equator in 2017. My freckles have tripled, and I have some sun spots now. Shucks. But still too lazy to take care of my face.

    So it isn’t just straight men. Ha I’m hopeless, too.

  9. If you want to up your SPF game (although 25 is pretty good) I love this one by the Body Shop. It's light, not greasy, smells citrisy not like sunblock.

  10. I'm here to tell you, moisturizing IS important - but you don't need all this. Neutrogena hydro boost (without frangrance) + CeraVe cream = skin holy grail. Your wallet and skin will totes thank you.
    Retinoids/Retinols are a great anti-aging tool, but they do dry the skin and I think you have to be careful what you pair with it.